No matter how spacious and expensive your room or house is, if you don’t get the colours right, it will still suck. So how do you paint your room with colours you can live with?
It’s all about lighting. Seriously.
The colours of a room do not stay the same throughout the day. The wall that appears bright at noon may look dull and muted under an incandescent bulb at night.
Whether you’re going beach theme, rustic country style or modern and trendy; here’s a few tips and tricks on how lighting will affect the paint colour you choose:
Sunlight and Colours
Sunlight is your natural light source during the day. How it affects colours in your room depends on the time and your room’s location.
North-facing rooms received cool and bluish light from the Sun so it is best to use strong, bolder colours. Light colours will look “lifeless” in these rooms.
Do you know why many love decorating south-facing rooms? Because all colours will look good! Thanks to high-in-the-sky warm light that’s available all day. For south-facing rooms, light colours glow and dark colours appear brighter.
Light in east-facing rooms appears bluish later in the day so it’s best to use greens or blues when decorating. Oranges, yellows, and reds are also a great choice.
West-facing rooms receive the least amount of daylight. In these rooms, white or neutrals work best. These colours are natural light reflectors, enhancing the scant light provided by dusk and dawn.
Light Bulbs and Colours
At night, your only light source are light bulbs so it’s important to know how different types of light bulbs affect the colour of your room. Great interior lighting is usually a result of combining incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs.
These artificial light sources have varying effects in the colours of your room. Let’s explore each one.
Incandescent bulbs are a great source of warm light at night. The light they emit comes with a touch of amber or yellow, making bright and warm colours like oranges, yellows, or reds appear more vivid.
Cold colours like greens or blues are big no-nos. They’ll appear dull and lifeless under incandescent lighting.
Fluorescent light bulbs give off cool light. Slightly bluish, this light works best with cold colours like blues or greens. There are also some fluorescent bulbs which emit warm light but it is not as warm as incandescent bulbs.
If you want to replicate natural light as much as possible, then halogens are a great choice. White and bright, halogen light doesn’t distort colours as much as fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) come in many colours. Depending on what you want, you can buy warmer or cooler LEDs at a bargain. There are also smart LEDs which mimics whatever colour you program it with.
Five Rules for Getting the Right Colour for Your Room
The colour of your paint can have a dramatic impact on the value of your home. Here are some rules to keep in mind to make sure you get the colour you want.
Rule 1: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Almost always, people who have great looking rooms don’t get it right the first time so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Begin with the colour your love. Test it on the wall and if it doesn’t work, find a different colour and try again.
Rule 2: Always be testing
The key to getting the right colour for your room is testing. Apply at least 2 coats of your preferred paint colour on a primed square drywall and move them around the room throughout the day. This will help you see what colours work best in different lighting conditions.
Rule 3: Don’t overdo it
Most designers follow a simple rule of 60/30/10. This means that 60% of the room’s colour come from walls, 30% from furniture, and 10% from art or other decorative elements.
Rule 4: Paint sheen matters
Flat finishes don’t reflect light as much as glossy finishes enabling them to look truer under bright lighting. Glossy finishes, on the other hand, are very reflective and can easily distort a colour.
Rule 5: Always use a primer
It’s always great to have a blank canvas when painting or changing the colour of a wall. White paint or a tinted primer ensures that the original paint doesn’t affect the new coat.
Painting your room to perfection takes a lot of patience, preparation, and practice. What we’ve talked about here are just a few tips that will make your painting project a lot better than you could have expected. Keep these tips in mind when painting your room and you’ll end up with something you can be proud of!